Embroidered altered book

Later this year I will be exhibiting my work at the Leigh Art Trail (assuming Covid-19 lockdown is lifted), with SEVEN, a sketchbook collective that I belong to. This will be our fourth year at the Leigh Art Trail and we’re excited to have a new venue!

We will be exhibiting at the Refill Room – a new shop in Leigh-on-Sea that promotes zero waste and are passionate about eradicating single-use plastic.

In response to the shop’s vision, we decided we would make altered books i.e. we would re-purpose an old, possibly forgotten and unloved, second-hand book, rather than buy something new. The overall theme we are working to is ‘reclamation’ and we are each interpreting this in our own way taking inspiration from the following definition:

etymonline.com (Online etymology dictionary)

So, back in January I chose a second-hand book, which is about Crewel Embroidery. This is not a subject that I’m familiar with, but I have a background in textile design and I’m quite interested in incorporating more stitching into my work. This seemed like an ideal opportunity to experiment and I wanted to be inspired by the book’s content without having any pre-conceived plans for how it would turn out.

I learned the basics of embroidery as a child growing up and have recently begun to ‘reclaim’ or reconnect with embroidery. I joined the Embroiderer’s Guild a couple of years ago and I have been continually inspired by external/internal speakers, who have shared their stories, and I too have shared my ideas, running several workshops for the group. Wanting to use and interpret this knowledge in my own way, I have been using stitch on paper as a mark-making technique.

These are some close-ups of the pages in my book. All will be revealed soon…

Embroidered shisha mirror
Embroidery on paper
Paper and stitch collage

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